Boekel Eco Village
The town of Boekel is constructing a fully ecological neighbourhood. The residents (who are also the constructors) of the neighbourhood are aware of the challenges entailed in climate change and are collectively looking for solutions.
The construction of the first climate-proof houses is scheduled for 2019. By 2020, the still bare terrain will accommodate a total of 30 green-roofed houses. The green roofs will not only buffer severe rainfall, they will also withstand the extremely large hail stones to be expected increasingly frequently in the future. Even the special solar panels on the roofs are hailstorm-proof.
Every house will have a reservoir capable of storing thousands of litres of rainwater. The filtered rainwater can be used as drinking water. The eco village features several heat stress solutions. In addition to the insulating green roofs, the houses have 40 cm thick hemp lime walls. These ensure a stable indoor climate, despite high outside temperatures. Thick overgrowth, high trees, and a swimming pond also provide a cooling effect.
The neighbourhood residents intend to meet part of their food requirements by planting a food forest. A food forest is a method to produce food using perennials such as trees and shrubs. This is claimed to be more climate-resilient than using annual plants to cultivate food, because for various reasons, a food forest is more resistant to severe rainfall, drought, and heat.
The eco village is still under construction. Several advantages of green roofs, rainwater collection in reservoirs, ecological water purification, and local energy supply have already been proven. The neighbourhood intends to set an example to others. Would you like to know more about the technologies and plans for Boekel Eco Village? The thirty demonstrably climate-adaptive houses and the community centre are open to tours and workshops. In addition, monthly information afternoons are organised.
The above photo gives an impression of the climate-proof houses in Boekel Eco Village.
Lessons to be learned
- Boekel Eco Village was surprisedby the options offered by the government to relax the regulations for experimental projects such as the eco village. Relaxation of the Crisis and Recovery Act regulations has enabled the field-testing of options that would not have been feasible under the current regulations. In addition, sustainable innovations can be field-tested in Boekel Eco Village, even if they have not yet completed the certification procedure.
Unfortunately, Dutch banks still have difficulty funding innovative projects. The German GLS Bank will be funding the bulk. The Dutch Nationaal Groenfonds will fund a proportion, because it involves a green neighbourhood with a quantifiable biodiversity plan. The province of Noord-Brabant will provide a grant to support the project.
- Boekel Eco Village website
- Boekel Eco Village brochure
Coöperatie Ecodorp Boekel B.A.